Par le trou de serrure (1902)    1 Stars


Director: Ferdinand Zecca



Par le trou de serrure is an OK little film which was quite advanced for its day in the way that it made use of the POV shot while also reinforcing the voyeuristic aspects of the cinema and the idea of cinema as an essentially male medium used to observe and exploit the female form. It’s basically the same as those ‘What the Butler’ saw films shown on machines at the seaside (which could still be found in British resorts in the early 70s when I was a kid). It was probably pretty racy for its time, but it’s unlikely to get any pulses racing today. The humour is of the Benny Hill variety — in fact the more of these films I watch, the clearer it becomes where Benny got a lot of his ideas from — and takes an unexpected turn when the male cleaner takes a peek through the second keyhole. Can’t quite make up my mind whether the occupant behind the door is supposed to be an old hag or a man in drag…

(Reviewed 15th June 2014)